Metz : Grand Est : France

Metz : Grand Est : France

Metz Cathedral, France

We first discovered the beautiful medieval city of Metz, two years ago, on our first road trip from Istria to England, for Christmas. Positioned where it is, in north eastern France, it was a good place to stop and break up the journey to Calais. We’ve stayed a few times since – and although there are undoubtedly many fabulous places to rest our heads, we now just opt for Hôtel de la Cathédrale, which, as stated on the website, is very definitely, a hotel full of charm and character, in the beautiful heart of Metz. Housed in a 17th C building, the hotel is utterly charming, full of French antiques and, certainly in the variety of rooms we’ve stayed, oozing with vintage vibes. I’ve never stayed here and not returned home with a few ideas…

Hotel de la Cathedrale, Metz, France

Hotel de la Cathedrale, Metz, France

Hotel de la Cathedrale, Metz, France

Hotel de la Cathedrale, Metz, France

Hotel de la Cathedrale, Metz, France

Hotel de la Cathedrale, Metz, France

Hotel de la Cathedrale, Metz, France

We arrived earlier this trip, and so took advantage of the additional time we had, to take in the festive atmosphere in Metz. There’s something about being abroad at Christmas – especially if it’s quite cold and everyone is wrapped up. It’s also really lovely seeing how other places “do” Christmas – I’ve yet to see anything on our travels, that’s not utterly exquisite. See for yourself – this is how Metz does Christmas…

Festival of Lights, River Moselle, Metz, France

Festival of Lights, River Moselle, Metz, France

Metz, France

Metz, France

Metz, France

Iconic city centre buildings, such at the Cathedral (right opposite our hotel), were illuminated at night, to stunning effect…

Metz, France

Metz, France

Another advantage to staying in the hotel we stay in, is that literally next door, is the most amazing restaurant – La Cucina di Casa. Always packed with locals – no English voices, all French. Always a good sign when the locals chose it! Not only is it sumptuously decorated with rich red velvet drapes, deep red and navy blue walls and packed full of gorgeous French paraphenalia, but it also serves the most mouth-watering pizzas. Thin bases, with just the right amount of toppings.

La Cucina di Casa, Metz, France
We do keep promising ourselves that we’ll make the trip to Metz in the spring or summer as it will be beautiful, but for us it’s just such a Christmas city, that I don’t want to break the festive spell, just yet…

le petit dejeuner : montmartre : paris

le petit dejeuner : montmartre : paris

Although Paris is packed to the gills with the most gorgeous places to eat, sometimes its the unexpected ones you stumble upon that are the most memorable. We recently stayed in Montmartre and Saturday morning was cold and grey – much like a home from home, so it was decided that breakfast was much needed to set us up for a day of sight-seeing. Having had two months of sweet Italian breakfasts, we were craving a savoury fix – and Restaurant Marcel just ticked those boxes perfectly.

Inside it was as achingly cool and cute as you like, and clearly a hip place for Parisiens to hang out on a Saturday morning. The decor was beautiful – greys and dark wood and low slung bare light bulbs. If Amelie had walked in, I wouldn’t have been surprised. For the first time, in a long while, we had a hot, savoury breakfast – with two BIG cups of coffee. Bliss! And clearly, these breakfasts go down well with the locals too, as most people in there were having what we were having. After nearly three months on the road – and it feels ungrateful even saying it, as it was all spent driving around beautiful Italy – you could not under estimate how good this breakfast was! Sausages, bacon, eggs, fried potatoes, vine tomatoes and toast. Just delicious!

Another breakfast find was Le Pain Quotidian, situated on the corner of Rue Lepic and Rue des Abbesses, Montmartre – a perfect location to while away an hour or so, over a delicious breakfast.

Not only super Parisien, effortlessly cool – but with boiled eggs, on the menu. Another blissful start to the day…